ASH WEDNESDAY (A, B, C) Lectionary #219

This day and Palm Sunday are two of the more popular Lenten celebrations. It seems that some people come to church on these days because we're giving things away: ashes and palm. Clearly, this opening to the “forty days” was added to Lent after the practice of adult initiation had ceased to guide the meaning of the season. The texts focus on repentance by those already baptized rather than preparation for those to be initiated.


NOTE: The Lectionary includes this rubric: “If the blessing and distribution of ashes take place outside Mass, it is appropriate that the Liturgy of the Word precede it, using texts assigned to the Mass of Ash Wednesday.”

Music Suggestions

Choral Anthems

Music Suggestions

Joel 2:12-18. In response to a current calamity, the prophet calls for an act of communal repentance. This reading describes the ritual act itself as well as the prophet's sense, in the final verse, that the Lord will hear the people's prayer.


Psalm of the Day: Ps (50) 51
The great “penitential psalm” that has become the Church's Lenten prayer. Consider not only using a memorable setting of this psalm but also encouraging the parish staff to have copies of it available for personal prayer during Lent and for use by those preparing for sacramental reconciliation.


Be Merciful, O Lord (Bedford)                 PMB 579

Be Merciful, O Lord (Berrell)                    WC 439/WS 43

Be Merciful, O Lord (Consiglio)               SPS 69

Be Merciful, O Lord (Craig/Gelineau)       RS 82/WOR 787, 973/WOR4 54

Be Merciful, O Lord (Guimont)                GC2 928

Be Merciful, O Lord (Harbor)                   LMGM 507

Be Merciful, O Lord (Haugen)                  GC 56/GC2 41/G3 51/RS 83/SS 564

Be Merciful, O Lord (Hunstinger)             SS 510

Be Merciful, O Lord (Jordan)                    LMGM 508                    

Be Merciful, O Lord (Kreutz)                    PMB 581

Be Merciful, O Lord (Kreutz/Murray)       CBW 44

Be Merciful, O Lord (Pishner)                   GC2 39/G3 52/SS 566

Be Merciful, O Lord (Schiavone)              JS 902

Be Merciful, O Lord (Stephan)                  SPS 70

Be Merciful O Lord (Tate)                         G3 54

Be Merciful, O Lord (Walker)                   JS 46

Be Merciful, O Lord (Ward)                      WC 441/WS 352

Be Merciful, O Lord (Willcock)                JS 46/SS 565

Create in Me/Oh Dios, Crea en Mí (Alonso) GC2 38

Create in Me (Consiglio)                            SPS 69

Create in Me/Oh Dios, Crea en Me (Cortes)  SPS 163

Create in Me (Haas)                                   GC 57/GC2 37

Create in Me (Hurd)                                   BB-MI 767/GP 209/JS 562

Create in Me (Kendzia)                              BB-MI 765

Create in Me (Stephan)                              SPS 70

Have Mercy, Lord (Gelineau)                    CBW 364/GC 55/GC2 40/WOR 41

Have Mercy on Us, Lord (Murray)            CBW 41

Have Mercy on Us, Lord (Petty)               WC 440

Misericordia, Señor (Ponce Rangel)           GP 211

Misericordia, Señor/Mercy, Lord (Schiavone) FYC 210

Misericordia, Señor/Show Us Your Mercy (Hurd) FYC 209/FYC3 484

Oh Dios, Crea en Mí/Create in Me (Cortés) FYC 211/JS 48


2 Corinthians 5:20–6:2. Writing to his favorite community—and also the community that seemed to have the most problem with internal divisions—Paul calls on the Corinthians to become Christ to one another by taking on the very mission that Jesus accomplished, becoming reconcilers for each other just as Jesus has reconciled humanity and God.


Matthew 6:1-6, 16-18. Alms (union with the poor), prayer (union with God), and fasting (union with oneself) are the three traditional actions for this season of repentance. When he discusses these activities, Jesus proposes that they be undertaken seriously and with no attempt to promote one's own piety.


Again We Keep This Solemn Fast (1,G) BB-MI 131/ CBW 352/ GC 382/GC2 407/G3 487/GP3 266/JS 394/JS3 353/OFUV 426/OIF 419/ PMB 233/RS 559 /SS 713/WC 560/WS 474/WOR 420/WOR4 474

Ashes BB-MI 114/ GC  883/GC2 852/G3 962/GP 340 /GP3 261/JS 374/JS3 339/ OFUV 410/PMB/RS 957/SPS

Ashes to Ashes  BB-MI 116/GP3 260

Attende Domine (1,Ps,Lat‑Eng) BB-MI 118/ FYC 315/GC 387/JS 378/JS3 346/ OIF 418  PMB 239/RS 552/SS 708/SPS/WC 557/WS 465/WOR 414 /WOR4 473

*Be Reconciled as One (2) GP 469

Change Our Hearts (1,G) BB-MI 657 /GC 394/GC2 414/G3 493/GP 349 /GP3 264/JS3 535/ OFUV 310/SPS

*Deep Within, v 3 (1) GC 399/G3 486/GP 399/RS 546

Dust and Ashes   GC 381/GC2 392/G3 468/RS 539 /SS 707  

Eternal Lord of Love (1)  CBW 360/GC 385/JS 390/RS 554

Forgive Our Sins (2)  CBW 620/ GC 879/GC2 848/G3 965 /JS 556/OIF 575/ PMB 324/RS 952/SS 1017/WC 711/WS 588/WOR 754 /WOR4 967

Forgive us, Lord, our Sins    OIF 578/WC 708

From Ashes to the Living Font  G3 474/OIF 427/ PMB 236/RS 561/SS 727/WC 558/WS 466/WOR4 463

From the Depths of Sin and Sadness (Ps) CBW 487/JS3 / OIF 435/WC 568

From the Depths We Cry to Thee (Ps) BB-MI 132/JS 386/JS3 357 /OFUV 422/OIF 289/ WC 472/WS 383

Grant to Us, O Lord (1,G) CBW 621 /OIF 579/ PMB 329/RS 558/WC 710/WS 583/WOR4 957

Have Mercy Lord   LMGM2 25/WOR4 665

*Have Mercy, Lord, on Us (Ps) CBW 358/JS3 /OIF 577/ PMB 328/WC 706 /WS 590 WOR 753/WOR4 966

Have Mercy on Me (E) SS 597   

Have Mercy on Us, Lord    OFUV 416/J3 346

Heal Me in Your Mercy  SS 286

Hold Us in Your Mercy (Ps) GC 398 /GC2 398/G3 494/GP 350/JS3 /LMGM2 291

Hosea (1) BB-MI 664/ GC 386/GC2 405/G3 484/GP 471/GP3 411/JS 559/JS3 529 / FUV 318/ PMB 327/SS 1018/WC 704/WS 587

I Will Be Your God (1) JS 383/OIF 581

In These Days of Lenten Journey (1) BB-MI 127/GP3 271/JS 392/JS3 362/OFUV 421

*Led by the Spirit (1) BB-MI 122 / GP3 272/JS3 /OFUV 423

*Let Justice Roll Like a River (1,G)  GC 716/GC2 709/G3 810

*Lord Jesus Christ (Ps)  GC 409/G3 477/ OFUV 783 /WOR4 587

*Mercy, O God (1,Ps,2) GC 417/G3 480/SS 712

Misericordia Senor!  FYC 184, 185, 316

O Christ, Bright Sun of Justice (G) JS 389

O Merciful Redeemer (1,Ps) CBW 369

*O Sun of Justice (2)  CBW 371/ JS3 / RS 544/SS 722/WC /WOR 424/WOR4 471

*Parce Domine (1, Lat‑Eng) BB-MI 123/ GC 383 /GC2  412/G3 473/JS 376 /JS3 344 OFUV 427/OIF 422/ PMB 228/RS 549/SS 725/WC 562 /WS 458/WOR 416 WOR4 469

Purify My Heart  SPS 160

*Remember You Are Dust (1,2) GC2 391/G3 469/LMGM2 287

Remember Your Love - Dameans (1,Ps) BB-MI 660/ GC 881/GC2 851/G3 961/GP 474/GP3 417 /JS 516/JS3 533 /OFUV 317/ RS 550

Remember Your Mercy, Lord (1,Ps)  GC 885 /GC2 /GP 476

*Return to God (1,2) GC 389/GC2 410/G3 478/OIF 427/ SS 718/WC 564/WS 461 WOR4 475

Return to Me (1) GP 347/GP3 267

Return to the Lord (1)  GC 415 /GC2 /GP  472/GP3 412

Save Your People (1,Ps) BB-MI 129/ G3 471/GP 341/GP3 276/JS3 364/OFUV 429  

Savior, Like a Shepherd Lead Us (Ps)  LMGM 47

Sign us with Ashes   G3 489/WOR4 478

*Signed by Ashes (Ps) BB-MI 115/ JS 375/JS3 340

Somebody's Knocking at Your Door (1) BB-MI 135 / GC 395/GC2 394/G3 470/GP 354/GP3 278/JS 388 /JS3 354/LMGM 34 /LMGM2 283/OIF 638/SPS/WC 753/WS 473/WOR 415/WOR4 469

The Cross of Jesus (Ps,2)  GC2 396/G3 482/OIF 313/ SS 717/SPS/WC 210

*This Is Our Accepted Time (2)   PMB 231 /WC 565

*This Is the Time (2)  RS 556 /SS 723

This Season Calls Us (1,2) JS 382/JS3 348

Though the Mountains May Fall (1,2) BB-MI 427/ CBW 665/ GC 602/GC2 595/G3 689/GP 605/GP3 619/JS 715/JS3 682/ OFUV 644

Turn Away from Sin  LMGM 287

Turn My Heart, O God (1,Ps)  GC2 561/G3 660

*Turn Our Hearts (1,Ps)  JS3 355/WC 578/WS 480

Turn to Me (1) BB-MI 659/GP 342/GP3 280/JS 377 /JS3 345/OFUV 314/ SS 451

Turn to the Living God (Ps)  GC2 408/G3 485

Turn to the Lord   SS 452

Turn to Your People, Lord  SS 619

*Wash Me, Cleanse Me (Ps)  GC 400

We Are Called (1,G) BB-MI 616/ GC 718/GC2 710/G3 807/GP3 524/RS 820/SS 868 SPS/WC 817/WS 664/WOR4 799

What Does the Lord Require (G) RS 785 /WC /WOR 624/WOR4 748

Without Seeing You (1,G)  GC 844/GC2 842/G3 922

*Yes, I Shall Arise -- Deiss (Ps)  GP3 444/JS3 562 / OFUV 308/OIF 584/ PMB 325/WS 589/WOR4 964

You Shall Be My People (1,Ps)  OIF 666/WC 784


Choral Anthems

Title of Anthem, Voicing & Instrumentation Composer/arranger/editor Publisher & edition #  
Attende Domine (SAB)
Attende Domine (SATB)
Aureole Editions/MSM AE61
Cantica Nova 5004
(1, PS)
Be Merciful, O God (SAB, Organ)
Ferris, William Paraclete (PPM09814) (PS)
Blessed Are They (SATB, Organ, opt. Flute) Jennings, Carolyn Choristers Guild (CGA 896) (C)
Cast Me Not Away (SATB) Powell Paraclete 0708 (PS)
Clean Heart, A (SATB, Keyboard)
Create in Me a Clean Heart (SATB, Organ/Keboard)
Create in Me a Clean Heart, O God (2-part mixed)
Create in Me a Clean Heart, O God (SA, Organ/Keyboard)
Create in Me a Clean Heart, O God (SATB, TTBB)
Create in Me, O God (SATB, Organk/Keyboard)
Create in Me, O God in “Psalms Together II” (Unison)
Create in Me (SAB, Organ)
Create in Me a Clean Heart (SATB, Organ/Keyboard)
Create in Me a Clean Heart (SATB)
Create in Me a Clean Heart (SATB)
Create in Me a Clean Heart (SATB)
Create in Me a Clean Heart (SATB)
Create in Me a Clean Heart (SAB)

Harlan, Benjamin
Nelson, Ronald A.
Schalk, Carl
Bouman, Paul
Willan, Healy
Brahms, Johannes
Marshall, Jane
Gerike, Henry V.
Christiansen, Paul J.

GlorySound/Shawnee (A-6731)
Kjos (8808)
Concordia (98-2543
Concordia (98-1143)
Concordia (98-2238)
G. Schirmer (7504)
Choristers Guild (CGA750)
Augsburg (0800656040)
Augsburg (0800645847)
St. James Press
Belwin Mills FEC 09446
Roger Dean/Lorenz 10/2207R
Paraclete 0006
Augsburg 11-0627
Happy Are Those Who Delight
(Unison, Organ, Flute, opt. String Quartet)
Hillert, Richard GIA (G-4259) (C)
Have Mercy on Me (SATB) Tomkins, Thomas/ed. Proulx, Richard GIA (G-1899) (A, PS)
Have Mercy on Me, O God (SATB, Organ/Keyboard)
Have Mercy on Me, O God (SATB, Organ/Keyboard)
Schalk, Carl Concordia (98-7845)
Augsburg (0800657845), ED003877
(A, PS)
Hymn for Lent, A (Unison, Organ, opt. Brass Quartet) Wyton, Alec Paraclete (PPM08809) (1)
In Jejunio et Fletu (SAATB) Tallis CPDL 1
Lenten Proclamation, A (3 voices, 11 handbells)
Chepponis, James GIA (G-2761) (1, 2)
Lord, For Thy Tender Mercies Sake (SATB)
Lord, For Thy Tender Mercies Sake (SAB)
Farrant, Richard or Hilton, John
GIA (G-3049)
Selah 420-239
Lord, Have Mercy (SAB, Keyboard) Bach, Johann Sebastian/arr. Hopson, Hal Somerset Press (MW 1246) (A)
Miserere Mei (SATB)
Miserere Mei (SATTB)
Miserere Mei/Mercy Grant Unto Me (SATB, Latin/English)
Byrd, William Oxford (3520532 or TCM 26),
Oxford (3520532 or TCM 26)
Miserere Mei (SATB)
Miserere Mei
diLasso, Orlando
diLasso, Orlando
GIA (G-3007)
Miserere Mei (SATB) Lotti, Antonio Boosey & Hawkes (1938), CPDL (PS)
Miserere Mei (SATB/SATB)
Miserere Mei (SSATB)
Allegri, Gregorio (Novello (29 0291)
Chester (CH55059)
Miserere Mei/Mercy Grant unto me (SATB, Latin/English) Lycan, Mary Augsburg (11-10267) (PS)
O God, Have Mercy (SATB) Pfautsch Hinshaw HMC 1875 (PS)
Parce Domine (SATB) Nowowiejski Plymouth Music Co. 3920105 1
Psalm 1 (SSATB, Piano/Organ) Carter, Nathan GIA (G-6024) (C)
Psalm 51: 1-13 (Unison or 2-part, Organ/Keyboard)
Psalm 51 - Have Mercy on Me, O God (Two Lenten Anthems) (SATB)
Rotermund, D.
Concordia 98-3037
R. Egan
Psalm of Confession, A (SATB, opt Solo) Hopson, Hal H. Augsburg (080065952X) (A, PS)
Purge Me, O Lord (SATB) Tallis, Thomas Oxford (TCM67) (A)
Restore My Soul (SATB) Powell St. James Press (PS)
Return to the Lord (TTBB, Keyboard)
Return to the Lord, Your God (SATB, Keyboard)
Return to the Lord, Your God (SATB)
Gerike, Henry V.
Gerike, Henry V.
Concordia (98-3274)
Concordia (98-2742)
Morning Star 50-3003
(1, A)
Sacrafice, The (SATB) Shephard St. James Press (PS)
Turn Thy Face from My Sins (SATB)
Turn Thy Face from My Sins (SATB)
Attwood, Thomas
Attwood, Thomas
Oxford in “The New Church Anthem Book” (0193531097)
Wash Me Thoroughly (SATB, Organ/Keyboard) Wesley, Samuel Sebastian Oxford (0193531097) (A)
Wash Me Through and Through
(SATB, opt. Unison, opt. Handbells)
Hallock Peter Ionian Arts (CH-1014) (PS, A)